Pinterest broke another record in February. Now, it’s not only driving more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined – it’s driving more referral traffic to major retailers than Twitter. That means Pinterest drives more traffic through images than Twitter does through actual links.
That’s why business after business is joining Pinterest and using it to experiment as part of their social media marketing plans. Even if your business doesn’t have a Pinterest profile, chances are people have already pinned images from your site or blog whether you like it or not. (You can check for yourself by visiting pinterest.com/source/yourdomainhere.com.)
But what if it isn’t working?
If you’ve been pinning and pinning and you haven’t seen a corresponding increase in traffic, consider that you may not be pinning the right types of images. And if you don’t see any of your site images showing up on Pinterest organically, you may not be using Pinterest-friendly images on your site. There’s a science to the images that 10.4 million women on Pinterest salivate over, and it’s important to understand it.
Make Your Photos Pinterest-Friendly in Composition and Subject Matter
If you want referral traffic from Pinterest, it’s crucial to use Pinterest-friendly photos throughout your site. Incorporate striking photos in any area you want to draw traffic, whether it’s on your product pages or your blog. And please, for the love of all, don’t embed them in Flash galleries.
Even if you photo subject matter isn’t particularly striking (girl with a scarf, anyone?), photos with these elements will help improve your Pin-ability drastically:
- The Closer the Better: Though just as pretty, landscape photos tend to perform less well than highly detailed close-up photos, which can be more visually appealing and eye-catching.
- Shock With Colors: Deep or brightly colored image subjects are also more eye-catching. Choose images with a contrasting background and foreground, especially in colors that work well with Pinterest’s theme.
- Snap it Like You Mean It: Pictures should be as well-focused and well-lit as possible, since people don’t want to re-pin amateur work. The exception: stylized photos using Instagram or other special effects, which manage to look professionally-done even if they’re blurry.
In general, the most popular Pinterest photos will also have a few subject themes in common:
- They’re Nifty: Photos like Bed Nook or Beautiful Hair share new and exciting ways to do normal everyday things.
- They Capture Emotion: Pictures like Homemade Photobooth and the infamous Hands both evoke deep, heartwarming emotions.
- They Reasonate: Many photos that include text also fit into this bucket, as people re-pin phrases and affirmations that inspire them.
- They’re Aspirational: Use this test: if your photo makes someone say, “I want!”, it’s a good one. Many people pin photos of things they want or aspire to do, even if they may never get/do them.
When blogging for your business or doing product shoots, don’t settle for just any picture. Spend the extra time to edit your images, so they don’t sell your written content short.
Because it turns out, images are often easier to sell than words. As Pinterest continues to explode in usership and referral traffic potential, it’s important to start thinking not just about the content you produce but about the visuals you use to promote them. Those businesses that devote time to making their properties visually appealing will see massive gains in social sharing and general brand awareness.
What kinds of images are most successful for you and your business on Pinterest? We’d love to hear in the comments!
Follow @sarahvnyc for more Pinterest-friendly digital marketing insights, and scan through the Path Interactive Blog for more industry insights on social media marketing, such as Top Ten Foursquare Campaigns, our Super Bowl Social Media Sentiment Infographic, and the Path exclusive video: “Sh*t NY Social Media Experts Say.”